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HP reduces PC prices

The cuts are smallish, not exceeding $90, and a bit surprising in as much as the Brio desktop line only debuted at the end of September.

Hewlett-Packard (HWP) announced selected price cuts on its Brio line of small-business PCs.

The cuts are smallish, not exceeding $90, and perhaps a bit surprising in as much as the Brio line only debuted at the end of September.

On the other hand, HP seems to be paying attention to a segment that's growing at twice the rate of the overall PC industry, according to market researcher International Data Corporation. HP was already late in entering the wildly popular sub-$1,000 market.

HP's Brio series differs from its Vectra line of corporate PCs in that these machines come with different software bundles and less-muscular hardware configurations. One example: Brio PCs come with diagnostic software for helping computer novices fix problems. Brio PCs are also cheaper.

The line comprises 11 models in three categories: Business, Advanced Business, and Advanced Business Communication configurations.

The Brio 8017, the most-capable of the low-end Business configuration, drops to $1,343 from $1,433, a six percent cut. The mini-tower comes with a 233-MHz Pentium processor with MMX technology, a 3.2GB hard drive, and 32MB of RAM.

The rock-bottom Brio 8012 Business Model comes with 166-MHz MMX Pentium processor, 16MB of memory, and a 2.1GB hard drive, for the cost of $999.

The price cuts begin today.